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Understanding Life Satisfaction and the Education Puzzle in Australia: A profile from HILDA Wave 9

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Author Info

  • Cathy Gong

    ()
    (NATSEM, University of Canberra)

  • Rebecca Cassells

    ()
    (NATSEM, University of Canberra)

  • Marcia Keegan

    ()
    (NATSEM, University of Canberra)

Abstract

Although better income, wealth and health outcomes have been predicted by human capital theory for better educated people, increasingly international and Australian empirical evidence has found a negative relationship between higher education and subjective wellbeing instead, particularly for developed nations. This study uses Wave 9 of the HILDA survey data and an ordered logit model to estimate the partial effect of educational achievement on different life satisfactions in Australia and how this differs by age group. We find that the younger age group have relatively higher education but lower satisfaction level on average than the older age group. The relationship between education and life satisfaction level differs by age group. Either controlling other variables or not, we found that for the older age group, those with graduate diploma/graduate certificates, certificates or Year 11 or below are more satisfied with their lives on average when compared to those with university degrees, or Year 12 only. However, this is not the case anymore for the younger age group, where life satisfaction, especially with respect to finances, health and safety, increases with education.

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File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/conferences/HILDA%202011/HILDA11_final%20papers/Gong,%20Cathy_6B_final%20paper%20(draft).pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Canberra, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling in its series NATSEM Working Paper Series with number 11/12.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as a NATSEM Working Paper series
Handle: RePEc:cba:wpaper:wp1112

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Postal: University of Canberra, ACT 2601
Phone: +61 2 (02) 6201 2750
Fax: +61 2 (02) 6201 2751
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Web page: http://www.natsem.canberra.edu.au/
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Keywords: HILDA; Education; Life Satisfaction;

References

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  1. Booth, Alison L. & van Ours, Jan C., 2005. "Hours of Work and Gender Identity: Does Part-Time Work Make the Family Happier?," IZA Discussion Papers 1884, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Investment in Human Capital: Effects on Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, 2nd ed., pages 13-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Age, Earnings, Wealth, and Human Capital," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, 2nd ed., pages 214-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Investment in Human Capital: Rates of Return," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 59-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mark Wooden & Nicole Watson, 2007. "The HILDA Survey and its Contribution to Economic and Social Research (So Far)," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 208-231, 06.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, 2nd ed," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, July.
  8. Beggs, John J & Chapman, Bruce J, 1988. "Immigrant Wage Adjustment in Australia: Cross Section and Time-Series Estimates," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 64(186), pages 161-67, September.
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